'X Factor' Exit a 'Very Difficult Decision,' Says Britney Spears

 Ray Mickshaw / Fox

Britney Spears' X Factor exit is now official.

Responding to "sourced reports and speculation," the pop star's rep confirmed that Spears will not be back for season three. "Britney did decide and is in fact not returning to X Factor," said a statement issued Friday.

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The singer added: "I've made the very difficult decision not to return for another season. I had an incredible time doing the show, and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens, but it's time for me to get back in the studio," said Spears. Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much! I can't wait to get back out there and do what I love most."

When news of her imminent departure began circulating Monday, Fox network brass had yet to receive or hand down the official word. On Friday, the statement confirms that "Fox has been informed."

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Spears is working on a new album, her eighth since 1999's … Baby One More Time, with such collaborators as will.i.am, Ester Dean and Hit-Boy. Her most recent album, 2011's Femme Fatale, was certified platinum, marking sales of more than 1 million units.

On Thursday, THR reported that Spears has signed with CAA. According to TMZ, Spears is in "serious talks" to headline a Las Vegas show.

Twitter: @THRMusic

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